Sunday, July 6, 2014

Doppelganger Dove Spacecraft Images!

     The article about the UFO series shuttle miniature got me thinking about another lifting body spacecraft that featured prominently in a Century 21 Production; the Dove from Doppelganger aka Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun.  The film detailed the ill fated space mission to a planet on the direct opposite side of the Sun from Earth.  Keen viewers will note that many of the actors, props, costumes, and miniatures would appear in Century 21's follow-up series UFO.  The film's melodrama aside; Doppelganger featured some top-notch special effects and miniature designs courtesy of master effects artist Derek Meddings.  Among the stand-out designs from the film include the multi stage Phoenix launch vehicle and command module, the NASA VTOL passenger plane; and the Dove lifting body.
      The Dove was, by far; my favorite craft in Doppelganger.  It's design was futuristic yet grounded in reality.  It never looked like it couldn't exist in the real world.  In the film it had VTOL capability and was able to go from surface to orbit without the additional boosters that the real world space shuttle required.  While it's true we haven't achieved that level of aerospace technology yet; the dove doesn't entirely defy aviation science.
      The following images are screengrabs displaying the Dove's best scenes and details.  I've also included a photo of Derek Meddings original production painting of the Dove taken at Andercon.  The photo is used with the permission of friend and fellow blogger Mike Burrows.  Enjoy!

Photo of Derek Meddings wonderful production painting courtesy of Mike Burrows

Lifting vertically from its tricycle undercarriage

Atmospheric wingtips still extended

With wingtips retracted for space mode

At this angle you can see the ducted fans for the VTOL engines

The Dove maneuvering away from the Phoenix Command Module

Actor Roy Thinnes in the Dove cockpit set


  1. Nice Article, Will. It's a shame there was never a commercially available model of this super looking craft.

  2. I'm really surprised that no one; not even Dinky took a shot at a diecast version. The tilting wings, cockpit hatch, and undercarriage seem perfectly suited to a toy.